You might have a great product or service to sell but without a business growth strategy to help, it may not grow at all! To grow you need to have a well-documented and clearly defined growth strategy.
A growth strategy starts with identifying and accessing opportunities within your market. The strategy addresses how your company is going to evolve to meet the challenges of today and in the future.
Building resilience in your business makes sure you can survive as a business. Growth on the other end gives your company purpose and answers questions about your long-term plans.
Why is having a growth strategy important?
Having a growth strategy is important because it keeps your company working towards goals that go beyond what is happening in the market today. It will keep both you as owners and your employees focused and aligned and will allow you to think long-term.
Here’s 5 key areas that will help you develop a growth strategy:
- Think long term – invest time in understanding where the market is going and what this means for your customers. Short-term decisions do not help grow a business.
- Having a good value proposition is essential – this states the relevance of your product or service, what it does, and why customers need it. What is yours?
- Expanding your reach – who is your target customer and what do you need to do to let them know you exist and that your product or service is relevant to them?
- Growth means new people, systems, and (maybe) different ways of doing things. Grow at a pace you can manage.
- How will your marketing get your value proposition to relevant customers?
Once you have taken some time to write out your growth strategy and where you want your business to be in (say) 2 years, the next step is to work out your marketing plan.
What is a marketing plan?
A marketing plan is a business document outlining your marketing strategy and tactics. It is often focused on a specific period (i.e., over the next 12 months) and covers a variety of marketing-related details, such as costs, goals, and action steps.
But like your business plan, a marketing plan is not a static document. It should evolve with time.
Your plan should outline:
- How you are going to keep existing customers happy and returning to buy more often;
- Your goals for getting new customers; and
- The marketing methods you are going to use to achieve 1 and 2.
Your marketing plan should also include a SWOT analysis of your business.
What is a SWOT Analysis
SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. We learn about this very early on in the Accountancy qualifications because it is so important for any business as it delivers focus.
So let’s look at all four of these briefly here so you get a bit more understanding.
- Strength – What you’re good at. What do your customers like about you?
- Weaknesses – What’s not working, what you want to become more efficient at?
- Opportunities – What changes are coming in the industry that you can harness, how about forming business partnerships?
- Threats – your competitors what are they doing, AI/ technology will it impact your job negatively?
When you start doing a SWOT analysis in your business, you will see that key areas will come to the surface. You can then give it priority in the order of importance.
You then need to come back to this analysis over time.
It is very difficult to work in isolation and it normally helps to discuss it among yourselves or with a professional to highlight where you want to concentrate. Here’s a really useful guide from the UK Government which you may find useful.
How can we help you with your growth strategy?
If you are interested in the growth strategy of your business, then you are a future thinker. We are future thinkers too and future thinkers need a like-minded partner to bounce ideas around with.
We’ll provide the impartial support you need and challenge your way of thinking when you need it.
What’s more, as is often the case, growing your business whether it is increased sales or improved systems often involves a need for finance. We can help you source the right type of finance.
As part of your growth plan, you may be involved in Research & Development and we can make sure you get the tax relief you are entitled to.
Email your normal contact at Myers Clark to start a conversation about the future of your business. If you are not yet working with us, then have a look at how we work.